Capping a busy 2013 that featured the release of their debut EP, Ariada (formerly The Outfit) celebrates alongside Hero Monster Zero and more Saturday, November 30th at the Cubby Bear...
One of the last things an up and coming band ever wants to deal with is being forced to change their name. In an era where music lovers have more access to more artists at their fingertips than ever before, it's become harder than ever to generate buzz and build a loyal following. It's easier than ever to get your music out there which has made it harder than ever to get noticed - the proverbial double-edged sword.
But Ariada took a preemptive approach, weathered that storm and what was once known locally as The Outfit became Ariada in 2013. The quartet released their debut EP as Ariada this past August - one which maintains the rock, pop, soul and blues stew the band displayed on stages throughout the city as The Outfit... but takes all of that a step further. Complicated arrangements on the EP feature organ and a five-piece horn section that back the Brittany Howard like vocals of powerhouse singer Lesleigh Arratia nicely, lending the songs a groove.
As the band preps for one of their final local appearances of 2013, drummer Michael Tassone checked in via email this week to discuss the name change and the band's experience recording their self-titled EP with Grammy nominated producer Chris Steinmetz.
Q. First of all, why the change in name from The Outfit to Ariada? That had to be a scary process to undergo given the buzz you had built up over the past year and a half so how's the response been so far?
Michael Tassone: We had to change our name because there was a band in Denver called The Outfit. They already had a few albums on iTunes and Spotify so there would have been a lot of confusion and possibly legal issues down the road. It was a risky decision because we had built some buzz with both the fans and venues under that name, but we didn't have much of a choice. Most of our closer fans have caught on just fine, and there is no doubt Ariada is unique enough to where we won't run into the same problem twice.
Q. I really feel like there's a growth in songwriting on your new EP. There's some pretty complex arrangements musically too with a lot of different parts and instrumentation worked in ("Blue & White Dress" is probably a good example). What was the songwriting process like for you guys on the new EP?
MT: Since this was our first music release there was a lot of room to work on the arrangements within the songs and try some cool stuff. Layering different sounds and the horns were all brand new to us, and we had a lot of fun with it. Usually Lesleigh will be working on a song and bring it to the band to work on, as she did for four of the five songs on the EP. Shaping a song is always a different process for us though. We can spend hours, days or even weeks working on a song to get it right, but other times all the pieces just come together right away and we all go home happy.
Q. You worked on the new EP with Grammy nominated producer Chris Steinmetz who's worked in a variety of different capacities on high profile projects by a number of national artists (everyone from Kiss to Madonna and R. Kelly to Jimmy Buffett). What was it like recording with Chris/what kind of effect did he have on the finished product?
MT: We recorded our EP at Chris's independently owned facility, Stonecutter Studios. Chris was great to work with and really got us in shape to be recording artists. None of us had ever been so deeply committed and consumed to a studio project before and he played a big role in molding our attitudes and our chops to be ready. Chris has a lot of experience working with all kinds of larger and major label bands so he was really able to polish up our sound with some cool ear candy production tricks we haven't seen before.
*** This interview conducted via email by Jim Ryan (@RadioJimRyan)
(Details on Saturday's Ariada show at Cubby Bear after the jump)
(Jim also hosts "The Rock N' Roll Radio Program" Sundays at 6PM central on WIMS and WHFB - streaming at wimsradio.com and via the free TuneIn Radio app for the smart phone or tablet)
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Ariada (formerly The Outfit)
Saturday, November 30, 2013
1059 West Addison Street
Chicago, IL 60613
Also performing: Hero Monster Zero ft 8090, KF Jacques, Distant Brothers, Guy Incognito
Doors open at 7PM
Show starts at 8PM
Click HERE to purchase tickets